The Department of Telecom had released a Gazette Notification on April 22nd which says the sale of mobile phones without the provision of panic button will be strictly restricted from 1st January 2017. The numeric keys 5 and 9 in the panic button featured handsets are identified as the push buttons to invoke the emergency call that will help women in distress. According to the telecom dept. notification, it is also mandatory to incorporate inbuilt GPS from January 1st 2018 to trace the location of the handset user.
“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women, I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button and from January 1, 2018 mobile sets should have also GPS inbuilt,” communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The concept of panic button feature in devices was floated four years ago after the gang rape incident of a medical student in Delhi and in recent past i.e.; in December this plan was reported. Now, the plan is finally executed and the rule of mandatory panic button in all mobile handsets is must from next year. “These rules may be called the panic button and Global Positioning System facility in all mobile handsets Rules, 2016. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette,” the notification by the Dept. of Telecommunications said.
To improve the safety of the women in India and ensure a quick response from the security agencies the government has put its efforts to make this facility available through all handsets after consulting all the mobile phone manufacturers and service providers in the field. As soon as the panic button is pressed, the nearest security agency will receive a call / message. Well, the entire details of how the panic button feature works is not yet clear and it is also not declared whether the old handsets will also get this new alarm button facility. So hoping for the best let us see how this feature will be helpful in future to the women during the times of distress.